Dear Members and Friends of Coastal Virginia Unitarian Universalists:
This past Sunday we sang “Bring Many Names,” a hymn that is very dear to me. I love the naming of the different aspects of what some know as God, but more personally, it is the hymn that we sang at the very first Unitarian Universalist service I attended. It was a special service held at the Arlington Street Church in Boston before the start of Boston Gay Pride. I had been unchurched for many years, and yet I had this longing for spiritual community. I walked into that worship service in honor of gay pride, and I couldn’t believe my eyes – a church full of people like me. And we sang that hymn, “Strong Mother God… Warm, Father God… Young growing God, ….” How could this be, I wondered, a community of faith that welcomed me as I am and experienced the Holy in all these different ways. So as we welcomed nine new children into our church community on Sunday, I wanted to sing that hymn, acknowledging the divinity all around us and in these newest members of our spiritual home.
This Sunday after worship, we will say farewell to a dear one who passed from this life last September. Phil Kaminer’s beloved wife Vicki commissioned a statue of a heron taking flight, and it has been installed on our grounds. We will dedicate that statue in remembrance of Phil. Dress warmly, and bring your memories of and your love for Phil and Vicki as we gather to bless and give thanks.
The Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team (NEST) has begun taking guests in to shelter and feed them in area places of worship. We will take our turn week of January 23-29. Contact Julie Hurst if you can help out during that week.
This is the time when the church year begins to accelerate. We just celebrated Thanksgiving, and now we are quickly moving into the Christmas season. For those who have experienced loss in the past year, or for whom an older loss lingers still, this holiday season of “Merry Christmas” can feel discordant, isolating. I will be offering a Quiet Christmas service of memory and meditation on Thursday, December 13 at 7:30 in the sanctuary. We will share some readings, songs, and for those who wish, we will do a walking meditation around our sanctuary. Something happens when we gather. Do come, especially if this is a time in which you could use more peace and solace than joy and merriment.
Peace and love to you all,
The Reverend Justine Sullivan
Interim Minister, Coastal Virginia Unitarian Universalists